The City of St. John

The City of St. John was a side wheeler built in Courtenay Bay and launched in 1847. She started out at 172 feet. She had a gross tonnage of 178 and was designed to travel at a rate of eighteen miles per hour. Her engine was built in the Phoenix Foundry, Saint John and rated at 216 horsepower. It had a 44-inch cylinder with a ten-foot stroke. The action of the engine was direct to the crank on the shaft beneath the cylinder.

She proved a disappointment as she required from eight to nine hours for the upriver trip at a rate of about ten miles per hour. It was also found that she drew one and a half times more water than the specifications called for. This of course affected the efficiency of the paddle wheels, requiring more power to operate them. Since she was proving to be an expensive boat to operate, the owners decided to rebuild her and increase her length to 210 feet. This made her the longest vessel to run on the St. John River. At the same time, twenty-five state rooms were added so that she could be used for night service.

For the rest of her time on the river, she served as a night boat, making three trips per week to Fredericton. Her extra length had made her more buoyant, and her paddle wheels operated more efficiently, although she never attained the speed expected by her owners. Yet, she has been referred to as the "dandy" of the river and quite palatial for her day.

After sixteen years of steady service, she was sold in 1863 for use as a blockade runner. Sad to say, she foundered in a bad storm off Cape Hatteras on her way south.